May 22, 2008
Facilitation: The trend in missions is for missionaries to facilitate evangelism and church planting, but not do it directly. Our MTW InVision internet magazine (www.mtw.org/InVision) for May 2008 looks at both sides of this issue.
I definitely have an opinion. In I Cor. 9:17, Paul did not say “Woe is me if I do not… facilitate” We do need to facilitate, but that is not all we need to do. We also need to make disciples directly, MODEL evangelism, church planting, and gospel-centered life and ministry. And, much in this tension depends on the person and the place, the missionary and his people group.
Below are some good articles on this subject.
Robertson McQuilkin: “Should we stop sending missionaries?”
This thorough and balanced article by the this former missionary and President of Columbia Bible College and Columbia International University addresses some of the concerns with the “send money, not your sons” trend. Ralph Winter’s side-bar comment is very good too.
Ralph Winter and others: This whole issue of “Mission Frontiers” magazine deals with issues related to facilitation and supporting national workers, and the need to send missionaries. Very good issue.
Bruce Young: “A Response to the Facilitation Focus in Church Planting Cross Culturally”
This article by 30-year MTW missionary to Japan is Biblical, deep, and addresses important things I have not heard discussed any where else.